Call it a win for diplomacy. On Wednesday, Russia said it would rejoin the wartime agreement allowing Ukrainian grain and agriculture commodities to reach world markets through the Black Sea.
Less than a week ago, Russia said it was abandoning the deal after an alleged drone attack against its Black Sea Fleet. Russia said the attack happened on Oct. 29. The Russian Navy reportedly repelled the 16 attacking drones at its base in Sevastopol. Russia said there was little damage done.
Russia accused Ukraine of using the protected shipping corridor to launch the strike. The Ukrainians never claimed responsibility for the reported attack, and some Ukrainian officials said it was probably the result of Russians mishandling their own equipment. Regardless of the origins of the attack or its responsible party, Ukraine made a pledge to not use the shipping corridor to launch strikes.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement it “believes the guarantees it has received currently appear sufficient, and resumes the implementation of the agreement.”
Under the terms of the original agreement reached in July, the United Nations and Turkey created separate deals with Russia and Ukraine to deliver grain and other food supplies to Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.